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Besides those instructions from the pulpit, in order to carry forward the knowledge of the subject in your minds to greater perfection, I have drawn up the following Essay, with much care, and as much perspicuity as the nature of the subject would admit; for the express purpose, that a present and permanent help might remain among you, after I
of all the earth.
I have availed myself of every assistance that I could obtain, and have spared neither labour nor expense to render the work as worthy of the subject as possible. When my manuscript was finished, I shewed it to the Rev. Mr. M*Allum of Aberdeen, who most kindly and obligingly read it, and was pleased to express a favourable opinion of the design of it, and, in the most disinterested and friendly manner, signified his readiness to recommend it to the notice of some of his brethren in London. I then sent it to St. Austell, Cornwall, to my very worthy friend and correspondent, Mr. Samuel Drew, author of the Essay upon the Immateriality and Immortality of the Human Soul, and also of the Essay on the Identity and General Resurrection of the Human Body, who perused it with his keen and piercing penetration, and was pleased to write me several letters upon his views of it, in general favourable.
I went to London, to consult with my friends there relative to publication, and carried Mr. M Allum's letters of introduction with me. His friends at once entered into my views of the subject, and, with a cordiality which I never before experienced, kindly offered their support.
The Rev. Dr. Adam Clarke entered into it with an ease and readiness peculiar to himself, and very rare to find. The Rev. Mr. Benson also perceived my theory, and expressed a favourable opinion of it.
Dr. Clarke opened his own house for me to deliver private lectures on my manuscript; collected his friends and others; and gave all the countenance and encouragement that I could have expected from a brother.
These private lectures were attended by gen. tlemen of different denominations: among the rest, the Rev. Dr. Simpson of Hoxton Academy was pleased to attend one; so were the Rev. Mr. Bel. sham and Mr. Broadbent, with frankness and great candour, notwithstanding their sentiments on the subject were diametrically opposite to mine.-The Rev. Mr. Jerment attended; and a number of ministers of the Methodist connection, whose names I do not know. Mr. Butterworth, M.P. was also pleased to attend; as were Mr. Simpson of Bush Lane, Mr. Birnie of Alpha Road, Mr. Stephen of Great St. Helens, and others whose names I do not know.
And after submitting my views of the subject to these gentlemen, and several others, they were all pleased to express their approbation of publication. If, then, the work be of any use in illustrating and establishing the great doctrine of which it treats, it is to these gentlemen you and I have to render thanks, as instruments in the hand of providence of bringing it into the light, so soon.
Were it not that delicacy forbids, I would more particularly point out the private support and encouragement I received from Mr. Samuel Drew, Dr. Adam Clarke, and James Gilliland Simpson, Esq. But as this cannot be done, I now entreat you to join with me thus publicly in offering the expression of onr gratitude to these worthy friends of truth, who so heartily co-operated in the cause.
For your sake, and that of all other plain readers, I have kept the style in some instances verbose and expletive, and even in places some. what tautological. Of all this, I was fully aware at the time of composing; but did not know how in any other way
I could make a subject so high, level to ordinary capacities, which require line upon line, and precept upon precept, to attract attention, and lead to reflection.
And now, Brethren, to you, to those gen. tlemen already mentioned, to the true church universal throughout the world, to our Lord and Saviour the great King and Head of the church, and to that God of whom it treats, I commit the work, most earnestly imploring the divine blessing upon you, and upon every reader of this work, and remain, with due affection and regard,
Your Pastor, and their sincere
Aberdeen, May 1815.